Communicating Change And Societal Values In Selecting Nigerian Home Movies

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COMMUNICATING CHANGE AND SOCIETAL VALUES IN SELECTIING NIGERIAN HOME MOVIES

ABSTRACT

It is a widely accepted notion that Nollywood movies contain negative content such as drug addiction, armed robbery, sexual immorality, women and child abuse amongst others, which in effect elicit negative reaction from its viewers. These negative reactions often result in negative societal consequences. This research work explores the positive values projected in Nollywood moviesas it relates to different facets of the society and how it by extension promotes societal change. To achieve this, literary materials and select movies were critically analysed against the cultural norm theory of De fleur and Gerbner‘s cultivation theory. On the basis of the theories proposition, the prolonged exposure of viewers to these positive contents will begin to impact positively on such viewers and an adoption of the values will translate into positive societal change. The research attempts to establish that irrespective of the negative content of Nigerian movies, some positive values and norms which when adopted will project positively in different facets of the society also exists in some movies. To reflect this, three (3) movies; The Meeting, Mr. And Mrs, and Half of a Yellow Sun reflecting political, social and historical aspects will be analysed. Qualitative research will be used in other to gain a deep understanding of the values and norms inherent in the select movies. In the course of this research, certain issues were made evident, prominent amongst which is that Nollywood producers are giving more attention to details to ensure they tell the Nigerian story professionally. The researcher recommends among others that Nigerian home movies be maximally explored as a development communication medium.

INTRODUCTION

The word change has so many meanings depending on the context in which it is used. However, one major point that keeps reoccurring is the move from one state to another. Change in a society refers to an alteration in the social order of the society, it may include changes in nature, social institutions, social behaviours, or social relations. Thus change can refer to any significant alteration over a period of time in behaviour patterns, cultural values and norms. The world today is changing so fast economically, socially, politically and even physically. The argument however is whether the change is for the better or for the worse. This change is made rapid by the increasing new ways of communication especially the media which has increased accessibility to knowledge. This has changed the ways individuals, groups, and societies think, feel, behave, and interact. In spite of the seeming objectives of the new communication mediums, a great deal of fear and outrageous optimism permeates opinions about its attendant negative consequences. This is so because the inundation of too much information is a potential threat to the ability to process which information is actually needed. Film has over the years become a pervasive and ever present entity in our lives, as well as a strong influence for constructing meaning in our everyday live. Social Comparison Theory posits that ―people will [at some point in their lives] compare themselves and significant others to people and images whom they perceive to represent realistic goals to attain‖ (Botta, 1999: 26). With the passage of time, we have unconsciously looked up to the media to help us define, explain, and shape the world around us; we make automatic comparisons of ourselves, those close to us, and situations in our lives after seeing images in the media. The result of these comparison is that we are motivated to strive for, and achieve, new found goals and expectations as perceived by us in the films. Films now preside over many daily decisions on the sense of our world and exposes human beings to completely new perspective. It has over time reduced the world to a global village sharing cultures, beliefs, values and history. With our lives influenced by the culture around us, it is impossible for it not to either be positive or negative. However, this is dependent on what we listen to or watch, whichever way, what we do has direct impact on our lives because everything has a direct link to some part of us be it music, media, celebrities, fashion, and even literature.

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